From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Hotel fees, surcharges set to hit record high $2.9b in 2018
- Cobblestone Hotels acquires Boulders Inn & Suites
- IHG’s Barr talks consolidation, APAC strategy
- US hotel results for week ending 20 October
- US economic growth spurred by government spending
Hotel fees, surcharges set to hit record high $2.9b in 2018: Fees and surcharges collected by U.S. hotels are on track to hit more than $2.9 billion this year, according to the latest research by Bjorn Hanson, adjunct professor at the New York University School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. This year’s projection is about a 2.5% increase over the previous record, which was set in 2017 at $2.7 billion.
Early check-in fees are relatively new outside of resorts, and while they have continued to increase as an industry practice, the pace of adoption has slowed, Hanson writes. Charging for unattended surface parking and holding checked luggage have also increased over the past year.
One of the newest fees is essentially a resort fee for urban hotels, he writes, which have “proliferated in the past year” and collected approximately $20 to $40.
“These fees are the largest contributor to the total fee and surcharge increase for 2018,” Hanson writes.
Cobblestone Hotels acquires Boulders Inn & Suites: Cobblestone Hotels announced it has acquired the Boulders Inn & Suites brand, according to a news release. The Boulders Inn brand has 15 open locations and one property under construction.
Cobblestone Founder, President and CEO Brian Wogernese said the two companies had been working on this deal for about a year.
“Partnering with the Boulders Inn & Suites group made the perfect sense for us, and will strengthen our presence, as a brand, not only in the Midwest, but the country as a whole,” he said.
Earlier this year, Cobblestone also acquired Centerstone Hotels and Key West Inns, Hotels & Resorts.
IHG’s Barr talks consolidation, APAC strategy: In a fast-paced interview with HNN’s Jeff Higley, InterContinental Hotels Group CEO Keith Barr spoke about how he plans to accelerate his company’s growth, his strategy in the Asia/Pacific and his thoughts on industry consolidation.
“My focus when I became CEO was how to become more agile, how do we move faster, how do we accelerate our growth and how to put more resources close to our customers and close to our owners to drive performance,” he said. “We’ve put a lot more resources into the market, so we’ve scaled up in Australia, Japan, southern Asia, the Middle East … put more boots on the ground to drive performance there, and it’s paying dividends. You look at the first half of this year, it was our best signings and best openings in over 10 years.”
Occupancy grew by 0.4% to 73.2%, and average daily rate grew by 3.2% to $135.67. The growth in occupancy and ADR resulted in revenue per available room increasing by 3.6% to $99.32.
Among the top 25 markets, the Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia, market reported the largest increase in RevPAR, growing 16.8% to $70.89, driven mostly by a 9% increase in occupancy to 71.9%.
Seventeen of the top 25 markets reported increases in RevPAR.
U.S. economic growth spurred by government spending: Data from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows an increase in government spending has helped accelerate economic growth in the U.S., The Wall Street Journal reports. The U.S. economy grew at a 2.9% annual rate since April 2017, an increase in the 2.2% annual rate from mid-2009 to April 2017.
“Faster government spending accounted for nearly half of the acceleration,” the newspaper reports.
An increase in defense spending was a major factor behind the growth, according to the article. Other factors included non-defense spending at the local and state levels as well as faster business investment and consumer spending.
Compiled by Bryan Wroten.